MIAMI: Defending champions Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams launched their Miami Open repeat bids in contrasting style on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), Djokovic battling past Martin Klizan as Williams cruised into the third round.
Djokovic, the top seed who is looking for a fifth Miami Masters crown, had to work for his 6-0, 5-7, 6-1 second-round victory over Slovakia’s Klizan.
The world number one, who beat Roger Federer last weekend for the Indian Wells crown in California, is hoping to duplicate his North American March hardcourt title double of last year.
In fact, the Serb is bidding to become the first man to complete the sweep three times.
He looked well on his way to a quick win when he snapped up the opening set against his 41st-ranked opponent in 23 minutes.
He won the first seven games before Klizan got onto the scoreboard and appeared set to serve out a quick victory with a 5-3 lead in the second.
But he dropped his serve and Klizan went on to win the second set before Djokovic re-established control and earned the victory after one hour, 56 minutes.
Djokovic next plays Belgian qualifier Steve Darcis, a 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3 winner over Gilles Muller.
Women’s world number one Williams had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Monica Niculescu.
The 33-year-old American, who had a much harder time getting past the Romanian spin-merchant in her Indian Wells opener, showed no sign of the knee injury that forced her to forfeit her quarterfinal in California last week.